Eagles at full-throttle during fixture pile-up

Timo Lahti
Timo Lahti

Eastbourne Eagles are fuelling up in preparation for two hefty away trips this week as part of three meets they face in just six days.

The Eagles thought their fixture congestion had eased after a hectic April, but the rearrangement of last week’s ill-fated Belle Vue trip means Eastbourne will now ride on Saturday, Monday and Thursday.

They start the cluster of fixtures at Arlington when they host Coventry on May 5 at 7:30pm.

They will then travel to Manchester on Monday, two weeks after their previous visit that was postponed during the first lap of the Belle Vue circuit following heavy rain.

The Eagles will then have to gear up for another long journey as they travel to Swindon three days later on Thursday, May 10.

Eastbourne boss Trevor Geer said, “It will be tough but the little break we’ve since our last meet has helped us. We needed that time to get our riders fit and get their equipment ready.”

Joonas Kylmakorpi was hoping to be fit for the Eagles’ meet with Coventry but his recovery has been further delayed slightly and he now targets Thursday’s race with Swindon for his return to action.

Elsewhere though, Simon Gustafsson has overcome the fever that hampered his performance during last month’s encounter with Peterborough.

Geer said, “I haven’t got a guest rider for Saturday because I feel it would be better in our arms. We will be using rider replacement against Coventry and relying on our riders to do the job.

“But I am asking round for a guest rider for Monday.”

Coventry and Belle Vue occupy the bottom two places of the Elite League table, both still searching for their first maximum-point win of the 2012 campaign.

Coventry have yet to win on the road while Eastbourne have won four of their five contests at the Arlington Arena so far this season.

“I certainly hope we can get a result there, especially as Coventry are struggling at the minute. However, they have got riders like Edward Kennett, Scott Nicholls and Jason Bunyan who all know their way around the Eastbourne track.”

Eastbourne were victorious when they met Belle Vue on the opening meet of this season and Geer is “pretty confident” they can repeat the result when they travel to Manchester this week, with the home side yet to get off the mark in terms of points this season.

Swindon may prove a tougher test though as they can boast a 100% win record so far this season and currently sit second in the Elite League table. Eastbourne host the Robins later this month on May 19.